In brief: Pelini emphatic that Huskers are excited
College football: Nebraska coach Bo Pelini snapped at the suggestion his team might be unenthusiastic about its Holiday Bowl matchup with Washington.
Pelini met with reporters Monday for the first time since the No. 17 Cornhuskers’ loss to Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game on Dec. 5.
He shot down questions about the Huskers’ level of enthusiasm for playing 6-6 Washington in the Holiday Bowl. Nebraska beat the Huskies 56-21 in September. He said his Huskers will be ready.
The Huskies won their last three games to become bowl eligible.
“They’re a much better football team than we played in whatever that was, September, I guess,” Pelini said. “Hopefully we are, too.”
Klay, Kayla earn league honors
College basketball: Washington State junior Klay Thompson is the Pac-10 men’s player of the week and Gonzaga junior Kayla Standish is the West Coast Conference women’s player of the week.
The award is the second this season for Thompson, who scored 24 points with a career-high seven steals in the 81-59 win over Gonzaga last Wednesday in Pullman. He added 15 points and four assists in WSU’s 74-52 win over Texas-Pan American on Saturday.
Standish had 22 points on 10-of-14 shooting, seven rebounds, four blocks, two assists and two steals in a 93-75 win over Washington State on Saturday.
Across the country, Hofstra’s Kate Loper, a freshman from Post Falls, received her third Colonial Athletic Association rookie of the week recognition. She had a career-high 19 points in 21 minutes as the Pride (5-1) whipped Niagara 96-69.
MLB players top $3 million mark
Baseball: The average salary in Major League Baseball finished over $3 million for the first time.
The 912 players in the big leagues before rosters expanded in September averaged $3,014,572, the Major League Baseball Players Association said Monday. The average rose 0.6 percent from last year’s $2,996,106, the smallest increase since a 2.5 percent drop in 2004.
The New York Yankees had the highest final average at $7,604,937, down slightly from $7,663,351 when they won the World Series in 2009.
Among regulars at positions, first basemen again had the highest average at $9.5 million.